Search Ranking Update

[UPDATE – Mar 26] As of the 1.19.1 server update, the larger of the two parcels selected keeps the parcel ID.

Four days ago, Resident Phil Deakins reported a drop in the search ranking for his low prim furniture business. Phil, my apologies for using you as our example! The drop in search ranking followed Phil’s purchase of additional land, which he joined to existing land. You can see Phil’s original, more detailed description at:

I apologize for the lengthy and somewhat technical nature of this post, but I want to be clear about what happened and what we are doing to fix it. The search team has also created updated documentation on parcel joins for the Second Life wiki and the Knowledge Base.

New Search and Land Parcel IDs
The new search pays attention to land parcel ID, unlike most human beings do. This means that Top Picks or a Landmark, for example, may point to a new SL business in its correct, current location, while behind the scenes search is looking at land parcel ID instead – and the two don’t necessarily match following a parcel join.

You cannot see the underlying land parcel ID numbers in the Second Life user interface. In search, they are the end of the URLs for the pages, like (Governor Linden’s home).

Unfortunately, magical though the Google boxen may be, search cannot do a detection query that asks “Have land parcel IDs changed?”and update the land parcel IDs if they have changed.

How Parcel Joins Work
Phil’s report helped us identify a major design flaw in the way parcel joins are handled in our database (not in search, but in the database). When you join two parcels you will get the parcel ID of one of the two, but you cannot predict which. Thus, you might get the ID of your popular, highly ranked parcel, or you might not.

We drilled into what determines which parcel gets which ID and why. Initially, we thought the size of each parcel mattered (i.e., that the larger of the two kept the old ID) but found that the age of the parcel mattered (i.e., when Linden Lab created the parcel, not when a Resident purchased it). Our parcel manager code essentially took a set of parcels and sorted them numerically by internal integer ID. This internal integer ID describes the order in which the parcel was created, and the older parcel wins.

Obviously, the time when Linden Lab created a parcel should not be highly relevant to join operations. The parcel creation date is not helpful information that Residents can see and use when they want to join land parcels. So, we started changing this yesterday.

What We Are Doing to Fix This

This fix requires a change to the simulator code. We are changing parcel joins to behave in the way we expected them to, which is: When joining two parcels, the largest parcel keeps the parcel ID. This fix will be deployed to the main grid in 1-2 weeks, when the next round of server-side code goes out.

We regret that we cannot make individual database fixes for Residents who have encountered this issue.

What Residents Can Do
A few additional changes will help improve Phil’s search ranking and those of other Residents who may have experienced the same problem.

Right now, there are twice as many Top Picks that link to Phil’s former store location. While some of this is due to the land parcel ID change, Phil can rename the old store to have the same prefix as the new one, which will help Residents find the new location. For example, if your old store was called “Foo Sculpties,” it would be better to name it “Foo Sculpties (closed)” than just “Closed” or “Closed – Foo Sculpties.”

Phil can also ask his customers to re-add his store’s location (complete with the new land parcel ID number) to their Top Picks.

Phil also mentioned that Show in Search was not checked. Show In Search defaults to off, so please make sure you select it when joining land parcels. We still feel that defaulting Show in Search to off is safer for Residents, some of whom strongly wish to remain out of search results, but if you want to appear in search make sure to explicitly select that option.

Thank you, Phil Deakins, for a detailed report that helped us identify and fix the root cause of this problem.

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97 Responses to Search Ranking Update

  1. Greta Umarov says:

    I don’t care if you remove this or not, as long as SOMEONE listens. This last update borked everything. Textures take twenty minutes to load, everything is lagged and rezzing stuff in world is just about impossible. And your bug reporting stinks. It’s so technical it’ll put off just about everyone who has a complaint.

    But that’s the idea, isn’t it? To keep people from complaining and reporting? This thing will never be more than a curiosity to the business world until REAL PEOPLE can use it, and use it easily. Stop putting in all the technical gobbledygook and PLEASE give us a plain old textbox to use, with the request “Tell us what problems you are having. What isn’t working? What is?


  2. Darien Caldwell says:

    Hmm, i had always thought the parcel selected last when joining two parcels would predict which parcel settings were used for the new parcel (description, parcel picture, media URL, etc). Wouldn’t it be better to have this also predict which parcel ID is used? Fixing it to the bigger parcel seems less flexible. What if I want the parcel ID of the smaller parcel?

  3. Fledermaus Messmer says:

    While that was interesting, I find the rankings and (especially) traffic counts virtually useless. I can find no information that tells me if these are unique visitors, repeat visitors, or over what time period the visits occured. It is impossible to tell if there is a relatively steady flow of traffic, or if the bulk comes from one or two events with an amazingly heavy draw. In short, when purchasing advertising space in a locale, I have nothing but anecdotal observation to guide me as to the validity of the traffic reports, and that is without evening beginning to separate out the camping-only, and money-tree only traffic.

    Also, it would increase confidence in the value of commenting here if, occassionally at least, Linden would actually respond to comments! Hm… two way communication with customers…. radical thought!

  4. Chak says:

    the 5th blog-entry today! Who is supposed to keep track on this?!

  5. Felix Oxide says:

    This must be what happened to my land. I recently reparceled and now my place isn’t showing up in search for a lot of people. I can still see it and some others can too. but many cannot. This is soo wrong and this “we regret we cannot make individual fixes” is complete bull.

  6. Phil Deakins says:

    It’s really good to see that action is being taken so quickly – ty 🙂

    One more thing needs to mentioned. Landing Point. I hadn’t set the landing point again and, if it matters, it needs to be set. My store is in the sky, and it was several days before I realised that people coming from search were landing on the ground 😦

    FTI, I’ve now got my All rankings back to where they were before the join.

  7. Phil Deakins says:

    A question.

    What will happen if the two parcels are the same size?

  8. Starfire Desade says:

    I guess if you want to use the parcel ID of the smaller parcel, you can break the big one up into smaller ones and add them a little at a time.

  9. Starfire Desade says:

    oh… and why do parcels 128 sq/m and smaller not show up in the new search all?

  10. Princess Ivory says:

    I don’t want the parcel ID to be based on the larger plot. What if I have a small plot, like a 1024, and buy and adjacent plot that is larger, like a 4096, to expand my business, which is currently on the 1024? I’d want to keep all that info that is relevant to the 1024, not have it changed to the 4096 plot I am merging to mine.

    And as Phil asks above, what if the plots are the same size?

    Can’t it be set so that it defaults to the last plot selected, much like it does for description, media, etc settings?

  11. Moose Maine says:

    Kudos to Stephany and the team. To dig into the code looking for the needle in the haystack is a royal pain, and this points to the passion that some of the Lindens show for their product. This is a great easter egg find, and we’ll eliminate the “I wonder what i’m doing wrong” many of us have been asking ourselves!

  12. Latif Khalifa says:

    This is really a bad one. The “fix” does not seem to be appropriate one. Don’t landmarks and top picks have region coordinates embedded in them? Why not make a script that will go through them and update top picks with the current parcel ID that can be found by the coordinates?

    I realize that this is data-intensive, but it can be run at a low priority. IMHO it is only correct way to clear up this mess.

  13. Efemera Bisiani says:

    Woot! I had a Linden from concierge out to my parcel thanks to my wonderful landlady last weekend and we couldn’t figure out why my club had dropped outta the top 1000 from being on page 3 of search. Have re-run the query after seeing this post and we’ve crept up to page 2 during the “downtime”. A very very happy club-owner trundles off to bed. Thank you LL!

  14. Me says:

    I encountered the same situation earlier this week when joining two parcels, now my ranking has dropped from a good page 3 (one of my major keywords used for testing) to a totally useless page 13 in the new search.

    This is so devistating and totally wrong, spending months working damn hard to get a good ranking only to sort of start all over because of some bug that you’ve noticed – how long after the new search has gone online? Is there ever some testing going on, this really is MAJOR!

    Why not just manually adjust ranking for the people who are now suffering from this?

    I have never been so frustrated in all my time in second life and I’m seriously considering packing up, it’s just so wrong that something like this can ruin months of hard work in literally a second by pushing a tiny button. LL surely won’t pay me for my loss, right?

    So much for the praised “relevancy” – are my products any less relevant now than they were before, only because I joined 2 parcels?

    What a joke…. Only I can’t laugh about this one….

  15. Taff Nouvelle says:

    why can I no longer use windlight??? now when I try to start windlight I am told I must download the new release candidate, and that logs on as RELEASE CANDIDATE, NOT WINDLIGHT.
    Thanks a lot LL once again for messing up the system.

  16. Avrila Laval says:

    Surely a dialoguue box offering to keep the ID of your original parcel makes sense? Until there is an end to camping,money trees and the like traffic has no meaning whatsoever,and should have no bearing on a parcels ranking in search. If as Fledermaus Messmer says he is looking to advertise,where is he going to get more hits that result in sales, a high traffic sim full of campers(75% bots) with 25L to their names or a parcel with a 10th of the traffic but full of payment info held residents?
    I have noticed an increase in the number of parcels with every keyword under the sun in the hope of just generating traffic. Not at all relevant to the parcels actual business.
    As for traffic figures thewmselves,quite how they are arrived at I have no idea,I monitor my sim with a unique avi detector,even with almost identical traffic in a week it can vary +/- 3000 a day! Which is quite ridiculous.

  17. Cold Spitteler says:

    This fix may have been quick service for phil, but my live chat and support tickets where shunned away months ago on the same issue.. with only the response the new search is not supported

  18. First, kudos and thank you for working so quickly to fix this. However, I echo Princess Ivory’s sentiment. The bigger plot doesn’t always work if you are making a large investment to expand.

    And since this is indexing once every day or so, can’t you just index the coordinates and look up their associated parcels on the same interval? The coordinates are what should count the most. There should NEVER be a pointer to no parcel. That doesn’t make sense.

  19. Me says:

    Oh, and how about offering thouse affected at least some kind of compensation like a free 5k classiefied for a couple of weeks or something like this to have at least a slight chance to recover from this? Wouldn’t even cost you a single penny….

    Most businesses I know of do compensate customers when somethings goes wrong, maybe it’s time to think about providing at least some kind of service to your customers when ruining something again.

    Unforntunately I’m not entiteld to contact concierge with “only” 1/4 sim…

  20. Ann Otoole says:

    thats not the only thing wrong with the popularity contest based search.
    like how an empty parcel with nothing on it has more relevance than an actual store.

    maybe you fine folks should consider this brutal fact. people want to find stuff. they are not interested in a damn popularity contest that is gamed with payola for picks camping systems. google search engines rank on popularity, not on content. please go get some sleep and some education and give a search that is based on indexed content not on popularity. and then make it a TOS violation to falsify traffic and search terms. grow some business ethics and business acumen please.

  21. Cat Gisel says:

    I hope Phil got some good traffic from this, what a nice way to get some free advertising 🙂 Way to go Phil!

  22. Phil Deakins says:

    @17 Cold. It’s not a quick fix for me, or for others who have already fallen foul of the bug. I lost quite a lot of US$ because of it, and I’ve had to work at moving up the rankings again. It’s only today that I got them back to where they were before the join. It’s a quick, and fundamental, fix for everyone who has search rankings that matter, and who wants to expand the land.

  23. Phil Deakins says:

    @Cat. hehe. I’ve no idea if the free advertising has been beneficial or not. It would be a bit of a paperchase to reach my store from here though.

  24. Khamon says:

    It always been the case that the last parcel selected in a join dictates the parcel settings except for autoreturn which is always reset to zero. Is it possible that the parcel ID was chosen the same way?

  25. Bryon Ruxton says:


    Will the behavior be similar when dividing parcels. (you only mentioned ‘joining’)
    i.e. When dividing parcels, the largest portion will keep the old parcel ID?
    Also just as Phil asked, shall the divisions be equal, does the selection take over?
    And what is the actual behavior on parcel divisions now?
    Does the KB Note “The combined parcel will take its name and settings from the parcel you first selected” will still remain true?

    Thank you for this information.

    PS: A good word of advice: When you have a source available for the information you seek, always ask or refer to it, never assume. You know what we say when one assumes. 😛

  26. We have had discussions in the forum at length about search. James Linden explained that search is mainly to help newbies get around. Search is not just a shopping tool – it’s a place tool to find cool places like Svarga, Lost Gardens of Apollo, etc. So yes a place might be more relevant if its keywords are right. But part of the problem may also be that the picks in people’s profiles are totally irrelevant when used to show off friends/family/lovers. As has been suggested there and in the jira, a new profile tab for friends would solve the problem, and location picks with unchangeable parcel descriptions would become far more relevant.

  27. Me says:


    Unfortunately that’s not true from what I have experienced – I’ve joined parcels more than once and the outcome was always a surprise in terms of which parcel’s settings stayed in place.

    I even made a “test devide and join” before actually joining the important parcels and I had different results in terms of the settings. Seems to be a random thing as of now which makes the whole matter even worse.

  28. Mliss Ristow says:

    My sim completely fell off of search not long ago, for the words I had it had been showing on pages 1 and 2. All of a sudden it could not be found at all. Upon looking into it I found that it just was not being picked up as a place at all. After a long discussion with support trying to get them to understand the problem the support tech restarted my sim for me. After that everything was fine. Unfortunatly I lost a days worth of revenue and traffic over it. I recomend to anyone that counts on customer traffic from search to check it often and make sure you are showing up. I learned my lesson the hard way.

  29. Nite Zelmanov says:

    The semantics of how parcels join has always baffled me. I’m glad to finally see this explanation. For interests sake, is it a safe bet that the parcel with the most SWern point is “oldest”?

    I’m still longing for a proper way to maintain LMs and search rankings when you move sim to sim. When I move my website to another server, all I have to do is update a DNS name…. could we somehow use DNS to track moving parcels? Perhaps something for the AWG to think about.

  30. So that explains a more then 50 % drop in sales over the past days. Im really VERY unhappy with this, it calls out to NOT TOUCH A THING in this game and stay FAR FROM IT. As each action can lead to unpredictable results and you’re messing with my income !! Not once, not twice, but continiously !!
    Of course were very happy that you tracked it down and are looking for a way to solve this matter, but why does it have to be like this. You are costing me around US$ 40 per day now cause i joined 2 of my lands together. Thats at a pace of US$1200 per month, I would like to see the look on your face when your bank did that to you.

    The whole game and blog starts to breath the atmosphere of a beta game, its getting more and more technically oriented. Since march 2007 you put the strain on shopkeepers/developers in fixing what you broke. You have ANY idea how busy we get with replacing non delivered items ? You have ANY idea how many times we get scolded for the screwups ? Accused of fraud and ripoffs ? Misunderstandings cause of HAVOK IV or I sims, viewer differences between RC, windlight and stable. You have ANY idea how many times were called over for explaining simple basic elementary things ? We work hard for our world !

    All im asking for is to give me the impression that you CARE, and stop pounding in half finished/half cristallized prototypes of software, especially the kind that touches my wallet.

  31. Zep Palen says:

    Stephany…that is no good at all.

    When I join to parcels I dont always want the largest parcel to take charge.

    I have a large parcel now … 16384 sqm. Then wanna buy a the neighbours which is 32000 sqm. But my old land are the one ranked in search. Do I really need to subdevide that new parcel first ?? no good at all…let last selected be the one taking charge….that wil work.

  32. Matthew Dowd says:

    “Phil’s report helped us identify a major design flaw in the way parcel joins are handled in our database (not in search, but in the database)”

    I’m not entirely convinced by this statement. The “fix” proposed is at best a workaround. The true fix (which admittedly is not an easy one to implement) should be that the relevance of the new parcel is determined by all those picks (etc.) which point to the new parcel, not just those picks which point to the oldest or largest (or smallest or newest) of the component parcels being joined. As many have pointed out, picking just one of the parcels to determine the relevance of the larger one will always be an arbitrary choice which will never cover all possibilities, and will produce confusion.

    What happens when you split parcels (e.g. a store downsizing to reduce its tier costs during a dry patch) – will one parcel arbitrarily get all the relevance and the other none?

    As has been pointed out picks (etc.) should contain exact x, y co-ordinates which determine which parcel they should link to for relevance searching – not some arbitrary ID assigned to the parcel at the time the pick was created.


  33. Tinier Mind says:

    Could you please also fix, that classifieds sometimes don´t appear on the right column of all

    could you please also fix that the all search ignores the complete parcel description for various parcels and only considers what´s in the name.

    Could you please clarify how large a parcel needs to ge to get listed in all?

    Why do you keep spam like events in the mainbody of all search while you took the classifieds out of there? This was pointless and i just hope you finally have cut yourself with this

    Good Luck fixing your mess.

  34. Since were talking solutions here too, i wanted to make sure i dropped my proposal in.

    Given a new searchtool implented where entries are tied back to the parcel by its parcelid, and given the parcelid can change when joining/subdividing land then;

    in case of joining land;
    you either change all entries for all involved land in your searchtables to point to the new parcelid
    – or –
    you let the user select which old parcelIds, by showing its logical name, to include for an update of the searchtables with the new parcelId. Entries for not selected parcels could be removed from the searchtables.

    in case of subdividing;
    not given this much thought but seems to me you will always remain with at least 1 plot with the old parcelId, and will therefor never create dead ends in the searchsystem.

  35. Matthew Dowd says:

    Re dividing plots – it isn’t about deadends in the search system. Let’s say you run a shop and need to downsize. You split your parcel into two and sell off one of the parcels, and then find that it is the parcel you sold appearing high in search, and the parcel you still have not appearing in search!


  36. Kade Grut says:

    It could be similar to joining prims,the last parcel selected is the “root” parcel and where defaults, name etc, get taken from. Solves the problem when joining two equal sized parcels of it not being predictable again and also when you want a large piece to inherit the smaller pieces settings.

  37. Tegg B says:

    Cool glad you found this, I spent an hour poking at it the other night wondering why the parcel s were doing weird stuff to descriptions when I joined them trying to work out if size of parcel or first parcel clicked was the parent parcel 🙂

  38. Reg Mannonen says:

    Search lately has been pretty useless for me, as a customer. But, it’s being gamed with the same ole Google tricks we use on the web.

    I remember the old days where a google adwords ad with a key word having absolutely nothing to do with your business would get your ad pulled, i’d love to see that brought back, both on the web and in SL.

    Tv stores that advertise Gorean items, skirts, shoes?? escorts??

    Skirt stores that do not sell skins but use skins numberous times in their keywords.

    Or better yet, those insane one word skirtshoesaoclubsexexcortgoreansilkwhateverelsewecanthinkofthatmighthitwellforourfreebiestorethatsellsnoneofthsethings

    Just makes search useless for all.

    BUT, not to be totally negative, they found this problem and way to go!! I’d think the suggestions here of the last parcel selected would be nicer however. The whole “we are expanding our parcel so the new parcel would obviously be larger” argument is a good one.

    @9 Why would we want to see parcels less than 128 sq/m?? What could a 10×12 parcel possibly have that would be worthy of search? Search not the best already let’s not clog it up further by listing cube sized parcels!!!

  39. AlexanderThe Benelli says:

    I think “last choosen parcel ID becomes the new one” is the best way to give us an actual control of the thing…


  40. Qie says:

    Khamon, Princess, others: The current “winner” of parcel ID, name, description, etc. when parcels are joined is far from intuitive. Oddly, I’d always thought that it was the *first* selected parcel, but in the thread cited in this post, I report on the apparently utter randomness of the join winner.

    I’m actually surprised that it’s the first-created parcel that wins, because tried to test that–or so I thought: now, I realize that it’s not necessarily obvious which parcel is the one “created” when a parcel is split, so my test of creation time wasn’t testing what I’d intended.

    While I agree with respondents who find the New Search artificial, at least it makes Traffic very nearly irrelevant for most search terms, and with some “advertiser engineering” can be made perform relevance matching pretty well for one’s own parcel.

    Yes, losers can game it to return their parcels when nothing relevant is actually there, but at least it’s not the waste of space and resources that Traffic generates. Let’s work to make even the tiny contribution of Traffic disappear completely from New Search, and in the meantime, just say “no” to Places search.

  41. Keiko Rau says:

    Interesting background on parcel joins, and a change for the better.

    FWIW, I have always worked on the assumption (proven through having successfully done this many times) that, like building, the last parcel selected would be the winner, but even so, it hasnt always worked, and it is a bit annoying despite having bought the first portion of my 8000sqm home almost 12 months ago, that SL reports the (now combined) parcel was acquired in December (just 4 months ago). Still… I have joined several small parcels to it since then, and have at least been able to maintain that (albeit inaccurate) date. Its great to hear that this has finally been noticed and is now predictable!

  42. Keiko Rau says:

    Having read #41, and re-thinking about my join process, I think I got it wrong before. When joining I would always select my larger parcel first and drag to encompass the smaller one, so to correct myself, yes, as #41 says, it seemed to be that the *first* parcel selected was the winner – not the last as I previously stated. My bad…. but as I pointed out, even that didnt always work for me.

  43. Rinaldo Debevec says:

    Maybe would be helpful to display parcel id in the “about land” window? And then also, when land is joined, display the parcel id that will be used for the new joined parcel, and in the confirmation dialog, tell user that is the parcel id that will be used.

  44. Could you just get a list of the parcels involved in a join and pick the one you want to get the id?

  45. Conifer Dada says:

    What if 2 parcels being joined are the same size – like 2×512’s?
    How about making the parcel first selected in the join procedure being the one that retains its settings?

  46. Keiki Lemieux says:

    “When joining two parcels, the largest parcel keeps the parcel ID.”

    I’m sorry, this is a terrible solution. Please do not implement it like this. It should work the same way that the parcel name and description works. It keeps the ID of the last parcel you selected. That is the most natural solution, one which gives the user the ability to select which parcel ID (and therefore ranking) they want to keep, just as they select which parcel name and description they want to keep.

    You should also have some sort of clean up for picks which looks for deprecated parcel IDs and reassigns them to the current parcel based on location.

  47. Phil Deakins says:

    @41 Qui.

    “Let’s work to make even the tiny contribution of Traffic disappear completely from New Search, and in the meantime, just say “no” to Places search.”

    I don’t see any reason for traffic not to have an influence in the All search. It’s influence is very small, but it does provide an indication of what people think of a place. It’s not as strong an indication as Picks (when they aren’t being used for people), but it’s an indication nonetheless.

    Getting rid of the Places tab would pretty much get rid of camping and traffic bots, which I think is what you’re after, because traffic has such a very small influence in the All search.

  48. Sarah says:

    Basically, there is no good way to automate this. Since joining parcels is a manual effort to begin with, why not do something very simple – ask the person joining the parcels which parcel is being added to which. This way, they USER can choose which parcel’s information (search/traffic statistics etc) will be carried forward.

    Though, search and traffic numbers, as other have pointed out, are meaningless anyways. With camping farms filling the top 20 and artifically inflating traffic numbers, noone can tell what is a really popular place, or place filled with afk zombies.

  49. Gaa! Larger-parcel-wins is not the right answer! What if you have a tiny parcel and buy a bigger one next door to add to your business? I’ve done this repeatedly.

    When you join two parcels, the first one selected is the one whose settings (e.g., parcel name) are maintained. This is how it should be with parcel ID, too. This should be even easier to code than measuring parcel size, too.

    Please don’t use parcel size as the proxy for mastry if you can avoid it. Thanks.

    – Lavanya

  50. Phil Deakins says:

    Here’s an idea to use until the new code is implemented, if you want to join land, and existing rankings matter…

    Currently, the winning ID is the oldest parcel that LL created, so cut the new land, making the resulting parcels newer than the ranking parcel. Then join them to the ranking parcel, and it should come out right – in theory 🙂

  51. Phil Deakins says:

    @49 Sarah. The new search isn’t about traffic, Sarah. Traffic has only a very small infleunce in the results. Even if you select the Places category, the rankings are down to relevance, and not down to traffic.

  52. tracey says:

    I simply do not like the new search, it is confusing and I just dont like the initial interface

  53. I have a side issue relating to parcel searches and a suggestion for how to deal with it.

    We’ve moved Lavanya’s Fantasy Suites around among many sims over the years. People add us to their picks. We move. The picks now point to other parcels, so now those other parcels get our confused traffic and our brand name in search. Right now, lots of people have picks to us, but if we have to move to a new sim, they will all be broken and worthless.

    Could you please consider a new dynamic landmarking concept? I propose that a dynamic landmark would have a “master” owned, like a classified ad, by a user. The owner would be able to set its landing point just like with a pick. The recipient of “slave” landmarks, given like copies, would always have that up to date landmark, image, and description (unless they override the description with custom text). The owner of the master landmark would be able to transfer it to someone else to manage. I would favor having any number of copies of the master, but that could confuse people. Perhaps the master could be clearly differentiated from landmarks; not even usable as a landmark, but as a device that can dispense landmarks. The owner of a master landmark could even choose to delete (or invalidate) the master and all slave copies.

    Picks could be dynamic as well. Perhaps the method would be to import a slave landmark as a pick.

    This may seem like a confusing concept, but it doesn’t need to be. This can be smoothed over and made transparent to end users by just extending the existing landmark mechanism with a hidden “master key” property that points back to the database entry for the master.

    I’m glad I don’t move much any more. I remember the days when my stores and such moved very frequently. What a mess it must be for people just getting started in business in SL. I hope this idea helps inspire a solution. Thanks for listening.

    – Lavanya

  54. Phil: I doubt cutting up the land would resolve the problem. One of the two new parcels would still have the old number; that wouldn’t get wiped out.

    These parcel keys are meant to give some meaningful identity and persistence to parcels. To Google, the parcel key is what uniquely identifies the “web page” created for searching for parcels. Getting a new parcel key for your business parcel means losing all “credit” you’ve gained in Google’s ranking. Then again, you could be gaining ranking credit from the previous owner, if their ranking was higher and its content similar to yours. 🙂

    – Lavanya

  55. Rene Erlanger says:

    From my experience it’s the last parcel joined that retains the Land name, description, logo and Music URL’s having done a whole bunch in my Mall the other day.

    I would prefer it remained that way too. It was a dead easy process.

  56. Rinaldo Debevec says:

    I agree with Sue Baskerville => “Could you just get a list of the parcels involved in a join and pick the one you want to get the id?”

    Ideally, when parcels are joined, at the time when you click on “join”, we could see a list of the parcels, with the parcel id, description, date created, etc., for each parcel…. and traffic ranking too! Then pick which one will be inherited by the new joined parcel. No chance for confusion there, or need to remember first selected, last selected, first created, last created, larger, smaller, equal size, or any other arcane rules. And no chance then of accidentally wiping out your hard-earned traffic numbers.

  57. LS says:

    I also agree with Sue. It would seem to me if you made everything more consistant, everyone would have an easier time. The last prim selected is the root prim. Why not make land parcel joining the same as joining a group of objects. The last one selected is the ‘root’ parcel.

  58. Phil Deakins says:

    @55 Lavanya. Yep – you’re right. ‘Twas an oversight on my part 😦

  59. And what is about parcels with EXACTLY THE SAME SIZE?

    When joining prims the last one selected will be the root prim of the new object and its name wins – why not using this rule for parcels, too?

    Best, Ice

  60. Khamon says:

    ha ha ha Suez is being logical again ha ha ha

  61. Khamon says:

    Ice (60) that is true. It mystifies me why that’s being changed.

  62. @ all: if the “largest wins” solution really comes its not just a not perfect and consistant but still manageable solution.

    As long as your initial and already extremly good ranking parcel is bigger than 16 sm (which it will be in most cases) on can simply cut the huge addional land in smaller pieces before joining those with the original land.

    Best Ice

  63. Raymond Figtree says:

    So Lindens occasionally read Resident Answers? Then please anwer this: Who is moderating the forum and why are they deleting threads instead of locking them? Especially important threads warning residents about Estate scams. Is it ok to have your customers keep getting ripped off by scam artists?

  64. Hiri Nurmi says:

    I agree totally with Lavanya Hartnell at #54. I’ve spent a lot of effort encouraging people to put my store in My Picks and the like, with the reults I’m now well up the first page on my prefered search words. I rent a 1/4 of a sim from a friend, but I’d like to buy a sim and move – Unfortunatly there is no way I can do this under the current situation because doing so would wreck my search results – it just isn’t possible to persuade scores and scores of people to reset you item in their picks on demand.
    What’s needed is to be able to assign a token of some sort to a parcel, have the Picks point at the token not the location directly, then be able to move the token around. Some extension of the media page would work.

  65. Phil Deakins says:


    “Unfortunatly there is no way I can do this under the current situation because doing so would wreck my search results”

    I moved my store not long ago, without any ill effects in the search results, so it can be done. I created the new (current) store and had them both running while I got the new one up the rankings until it ranked right under the old one. Then I took the old one out of search, and the new one took it’s rankings because it was the next one down.

    It would cost a bit because you’d need to have both pieces of land for a little while, but it can be done. It doesn’t take many days to get a place up the rankings, and you’d no doubt need to have both pieces of land for a little while anyway, if you don’t want a break is sales.

  66. Foxxe Wilder says:

    How about totally ditching the traffic report? All too often it is artificially enhanced by SL Welfare Recipients – campers. The camping/traffic system is long since been proven to be false and misleading. One can easily purchase a plot that has had HIGH traffic numbers and STILL not SEE any of the traffic at all. It is all just misleading numbers anyways and serves no honest usage.

    In the old days it could have been used to influence naive newbie business people into believing that a given parcel up for sale would be a “good buy”. Naturally this is not the case.

  67. Korena Starbrook says:

    to see how easy it is to game the search – see the top listing under All for “beds”.

    Hey I guess if you can’t beat em – join em?

  68. What fixes…. ?

    This is Simple they create a System where traffic means nothing but everybody wants it so they could get money for nothing more than just a number, so u invest money to get traffic and if your bussines go well and u buy a new land u have to invest again, and again ,and again…. how many popular places are listed??, why not create catgories on that list, all popular places are camping…..

    Sooooo camping = traffic = money … but not for us., we just get TRAFFIC !!! =) nice exchange

  69. This would be more simple if the create a option to choose which stats would remain when join lands, but… people the use of that option would cost 1000L to keep incomes =).

  70. Ann Otoole says:

    how about take the popularity contest search appliance and use it on the “popular places” tab? Use a real search on the search tabs.

    if someone is concerned about new resident retention and are trying to develop ways for new residents to find valid cool popular places then they are going to have to do something about what new residents are finding that is turning them away. as it is a new resident finds demeaning activities such as camping zones full of bots, places related to “social public assistance”, etc. nothing to do there. nothing cool to look at. maybe should go out and simply find cool places and have a cool places tab.

    its obvious that the ideas that are being implemented are not working so people with seriously good ideas that know what they are talking about need to be in the driver’s seat. not a bunch of people that don’t actually live and breathe in secondlife.

  71. Tamasin Demina says:

    Can we sort the bork where particles are completely missing also? Is that there in the server code?

  72. Return the Vote System !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    People knows what they like !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lindens just know how to get money !!!!!!!

  73. Fredy Kyong says:

    I don´t care about the plot. I care about the business and what they sell. If I search google for cars, I do not exactly care where they are if their offer what I was looking for. Then I can teleport there if I am interested (well, not in RL).

  74. Stephe Ehrler says:

    When are real events going to show in main search again? Or are events no longer something LL cares about?

    Between allowing anyone and everyone to call a “no host is there” store or yard sale “an event” and then the new search ignoring events, you’ve basically killed off any reason for us to bother with hosting events anymore. I’ve AR’d people using alts to post 25 events a day to the same parcel of land and absolutely NOTHING was done. This same person is still using alts to post 25 events a day to the same lot. And so are dozens of other people. You’ve allowed this to get to the point where the event calender is useless.

    I used to host 2 free events a week at “Skate and Date” with actual hosts there, games set up etc and people use to come and have fun. Ever since this new search came out, event postings draw absolutely no-one. I also used to get a steady stream of new residents to what I consider is something different and fun for people to do, plus we spent a lot of time helping them understand SL. That traffic has totally died off too even though I’m #2 in the seach under skating. Obviously this new search idea broke what was working before..

    I guess I’ll have to get some camping chairs, fire my hosts and call people AFK sitting in a chair the new idea of an “event” in SL? Seems that’s what LL has geared themselves up to promote. Camper bot lots of land. WOOT now isn’t that fun and creative! O.o

    And then they wonder why new people leave SL when the places sugested for them to go to are the monster lag sims full of camper bots and everyone is AFK sitting on camper chairs?

  75. SharpKnife Beaumont says:

    Hmm LINDEN, not sure if it was already in above post but why dont simple ask if joining or spliting wich parcel should keep the goodies!!

  76. Interesting how Mr. Deakins and some of the rest of you are THANKING Linden Lab for once again BREAKING Second Life.

    And the first time this was reported, they did NOTHING, so why was Mr. Deakins the Lucky Mate this time Linden friends?

    Put aside all these so-called solutions, because quite frankly they will all either not work or they will do like everything else, and break something else.

    Now is the time for Linden Lab to freeze Second Life 1.0 and start re-coding an IMPROVED and BETTER Second Life 2.0. Although asking Linden Lab to code something improved and better might just be an oxymoron.

  77. Bronte Wade says:

    Hi Foxxe hun 🙂 67….As you know the owners of VM are against camping in any shape or form and we pride ourselves on our geniune traffic.

    However we have been a victim of this bug when we doubled our land size 3 weeks ago and we have now disappeared of the face of the earth, and after a year of hard work I am devistated to see our work gone to waste over a bug.

    Thankfully I beleive that because of our good traffic and VIP Group we have been able to maintain good results still even though we are no longer in search – If this feature was removed our club would have sunk within a month ….by no fault of our own.

    This is totally unacceptable and LL should do something to correct the damage they have caused.. Especially as its the ones that have worked hard to get where they were, are the ones that are suffering.

    Clubs have had a raw deal over the past year, with gaming being made illegal (only to watch compeditors continue to use illegal equipement AND list it in events with no punishment), our land value plummet and now I have noticed that Mature enviroments are listing their events as PG because they get priority over mature listing, for instance:- SEX FETISH PARTY & LIVE BONDAGE SHOWS WITH BDSM DUNGEON SLAVES….someone needs to explain to me how this has been registered as a PG event???……

    Come on LL pull your finger out, give us our places back in search – its your bug you fix it ….and stop priortising PG events…put is back to first come first serve – then you will not have Mature enviroments listing as PG and putting the younger ones at risk

  78. Bradley Bracken says:

    I’m glad to see Phil get the recognition he deserves for this. He not only brought the issue forward but has worked hard to help find a solution.

    I’m equally thrilled to see LL refer to the forums. I have learned more in the forums than all other resources combined. It’s been a disservice not referring to it more as a reference tool, and I hope to see it pointed out more.

  79. #49 has it right. When joining parcels you should ask the user which ID it should inherit. When splitting parcels you should ask which one gets the original ID. The dialog might take some explanation, but it’s better than largest wins or random wins.

  80. Phil Deakins says:

    With the ‘largest plot wins’ method that is being implemented, the user does get to choose, although it will sometimes be necessary to split the new addition first.

    Ideally, we would be able to simply select, either by checking an option or by the first/last to be selected, but that would probably require much more coding to implement, and I do like it that they are producing a solution quickly. It’s a serious problem, imo, and needs a quick solution. A more refined solution could come later, but at least we’ll have a workable solution very soon.

    I still wonder what will happen when the plots are the same size. One can be cut, of course.

  81. Brieanne Bomazi says:

    Well let me look shocked….I recently doubled the size of my parcel…and dropped clean off search, by business went from #1-#2 position on search…to page 10 or something….and even havening *countless* people fix their links…hasn’t helped. We have been in business over 2 years….and suddenly my traffic is gone…business is low…and it started when I *upgraded* and bought out MOST of the sim (all but 8K sqm) I also had a linden out to check my land… Tried various things to fix it…and when I linked all my new land…I linked it then joined my original parcel last…seems now that the rest of the parcels I have there I’m afraid to join together… will that start search off all over again? The links that people haven’t updated now point to *no parcel* at my location, landing point fixed, ect ect….anyone else have a suggestion on what to do to fix it? Over 2 years in business…at this location since July of 06…and I am off search…I’m still waiting to see what the Quick fix should be…my business didn’t change name, or location, we simply expanded…any suggestions?

  82. Argent Stonecutter says:

    This creation order ID effect would explain why objects in the sim seem to rez in order of creation rather than (for example) by which objects are closest to you. Is there some similar logic for in-sim objects as for parcels?

  83. Phil Deakins says:

    @82 If it’s the All search, and I’m sure it is, you really do need to get people to redo their Picks to your business place. Picks that show (no parcel) are not counting for your business place. It takes up to 12 hours for changes to appear in the search results, and it also depends a bit on which datacenter is providing them – different people sometimes see different results at the same time. The other day I saw 3 different sets of results with 3 avs, and repeated searches didn’t change that. So keep on with the Picks – they are so very important. You can safely assume that they are making a difference that will show in the results before long.

  84. Ollie says:

    While you are working on the search functions, I wish you would fix the “all” search. I searched for “trees” earlier and Bliss is on the first page three times, besides being in the classifieds on the right. It is easy to see why, when you open their page they have like over 200 fake prims on their parcels priced at 99L to 9999999L to get a top ranking. No way am I gonna open a garden center after seeing that, I wouldn’t have 200 fake prims to spare!

  85. Sarah says:

    @52 Phil, traffic was only one of the parcel stats I mentioned. In any case, as I said in my other message, the only sensible approach would be to not automate it, but let the user make the decision.

    And, as other here have pointed out, traffic IS an issue, as a result of the change and how it has affected their businesses.

    No automated approach will work for every case, I would be surprised if it worked in more than half of them.

  86. This would not be an issue if the pick generated an html page after checking the coordinates, versus having to guess at which plot should be the one listed. Very easy to goof up if you’ve subdivided and changed your mind.

  87. pffffffff says:

    I do not rent anymore a sim full of bugs….
    But I paid a lot for nothing it seems…
    So I will come back the day SL Is fixed… NEVER !
    500$ for a full sim where you cant get on the search… crazy

  88. Phil Deakins says:

    @87 Sarah. Traffic used in the search system is an issue with some people because of camping and traffic bots, which some people don’t want in SL, but traffic doesn’t affect the new All search much at all.

    The only way that I can see how traffic and the new search has affected businesses is many people using the new search instead of the Places tab, which would improve business for those who don’t manipulate the traffic figures, and vice versa. It does require businesses to optimise their places for the new search though, but that’s down to them. The new search is very much like web search engines. You don’t usually get top rankings just because a website exists and is relevant. You usually need to do things to get top rankings.

  89. the bat says:

    Subdividing your larger plot wont work Phil , if it has an older date , 1 of the “new”parcels will inherit that older date , not matter how many subdivides you do , and when you join that one , which you cant identify as divides are random , to the rest , all will take the older date , exaqctly the same as if you’d not subdivided.
    Only Last or First Selected whichever is easiest to code , will solve this problem to everyone’s satisfaction and make the process predictable.

  90. Phil Deakins says:

    @91. The LL creation dates won’t come into it after they’ve made it so that the largest plot wins, so cutting a plot to make sure that the largest one is the one you want to maintain will work.

  91. Ann Otoole says:

    check this out for the new search.. accounts with no payment info on file are not indexed by the new search. therefore it appears their top picks are also excluded from the new search. perhaps this is a step forward in making the new search less gamed by profile pick payola systems.

  92. Phil Deakins says:

    @93 Ann. That’s just a rumour, Ann. Avs with no payment info do show in search. It was ‘researched’ not long ago, and we found them showing – not many, but it only needs one to put paid to the theory, and we found more than one. Today’s ‘news’ is old news, and inaccurate.

  93. Rachel Darling says:

    First – I agree that at minimum you should be able to pick which parcel inherits the search reference; if that’s by making it the last parcel, then fine.

    In terms of Search in general, though — as has been pointed out, the current implementation is never going to reliably reflect relevance, any more than Google does. Just too easy to “game” the system.

    If you really want to help customers/searchers find relevant results, I’d suggest implementing a ranking system, and/or give unique visitors the ability to assign keywords to parcels they visit. You could then base relevance on the 10 most-frequently-used keywords that were assigned by visitors, and how often they were assigned. In terms of ranking, if people game the system with alts assigning non-relevant keywords, visitors have the option to “rank” them lower accordingly, and the ranking number will also show up in Search next to their listing.

  94. Ann Otoole says:

    @94 – Phil, the NPIOF accounts that are showing have created a group and/or placed a classified ad. There is something wrong and i am afraid you have not done your homework. there is a defect open in jira on this. and this defect appears to be less than 2 weeks old.

    try again after you do some research.

  95. Phil Deakins says:

    @94 Ann. Yes, I’m aware of those ideas, and also that the group creation one was shown not to be true. I haven’t tested either of them personally (have you?), but I’ve personally tested many things – way before the current discussion started. It’s not a new thing. It’s not a 2 week old defect. It was noticed way before then, and was discussed in an SL forum thread (not the current thread), and it’s suprising that people seem to think that it’s a new find. It isn’t.

    Now what was that about trying again after doing some research? 😉

  96. Phil Deakins says:

    @Ann (again)

    When LL first announced the new search, I posted in this blog that business people would create a myriad of alts for the Picks/rankings. Whether they took notice of that, or they’d already realised it, there’s a good possibility that, what is currently being called a defect, is actually intentional – by design. If all av’s Picks counted as links, then many business owners would make use of it to move up the rankings, and it could become a case the those with the biggest ‘armies’ are the most successful, regardless of relevancy, which would cause many more complaints than now.

    Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a reason to change the way it is now. I can’t think of a reason why the Picks of all avs should be used for rankings. The new search ranks on relevancy with the limited data that it has to work with, and those Picks links are a very powerful ranking factor. If people could push their places to the top by using an army of alts with Picks, it would devalue the results, imo. So I don’t see the current limitations as a fault, or a defect, or a bug. I see it as beneficial to people who use the new search.

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